Blizzard Entertainment has reason to celebrate. Not only is its Wrath of the Lich King expansion almost ready to roll out, but its subscriber numbers continue to blow the mind.
Blizzard announced today that its subscription base now exceeds 11 million players. When this number is brought into perspective, the gravity of the announcement becomes clear.
Many countries around the world have population figures that are less than 11 million. For example, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and even Portugal have population numbers that are lower than the entire subscription base for WoW.
So, why is this game so popular when other, arguably more challenging and visually pleasing MMORPGs flounder with their subscription bases?
It all comes down to playability. Blizzard, unlike so many other game companies, has managed to create an ever-evolving world that balances challenge and fun. The game, its updates and expansions tend to work as expected or close to it. WoW has managed to pull in serious gamers and casual players alike. It, in short, represents everything a massively multiplayer game should offer – something for everyone.
Now, don’t get me wrong. WoW has had its share of problems, but Blizzard has managed to overcome most of them. This is obvious by the numbers. In fact, the figures from Blizzard speak for themselves.
“Since debuting in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular MMORPG around the world,” Blizzard’s recent press release read. “It was the bestselling PC game of 2005 and 2006 worldwide, and finished behind only World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade(R), the first expansion pack for the game, in 2007. In addition to being the bestselling PC game of 2007 in both North America and Europe, The Burning Crusade holds the record for fastest-selling PC game of all time, with nearly 2.4 million copies sold in its first 24 hours of availability and approximately 3.5 million in its first month.”
Now available in a total of eight languages, WoW continues to please its client base. The company is even proud to announce in this time of layoffs and cutbacks, it’s even hiring.
Whether you played it and hated it, played it and loved it or never played it at all, there’s no denying the incredible impact WoW has had on the gaming world and continues to have.
The next expansion is due out Nov. 13.